Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes. beingrecreated

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Explore new horizons of a living faith

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

One of the greatest challenges to faith is when we have already tried to become a Christian and somehow nothing worked. It leaves many more questions than answers, and having already taken the risk and been left with no result we can ask, Why bother trying again.


It is frustrating when we try something and fail while it seems to work for everyone else. The key issue in a problem of this nature is that the decision is not one of a consumer, ‘I make the decision, so the outcome rests with me.’ It is in fact an agreement between two parties, ourselves and God. Though He is willing, He will not move forwards with us if we are coming to Him on a wrong footing The way to address such an issue is to go back to the start and reevaluate the different components of your decision.


Reevaluation Zone

In this zone we look at how Jesus summarised His message.  Then take you through each component part.


The Key Requirements

Jesus summarises His message in Mark 1:15.

  1. How does Mark describe Jesus’ message?
  2. How did Jesus describe the spiritual state of affairs?
  3. What two actions did Jesus ask of His hearers?


Mark 1:  14 Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God's Good News.*15 "The time promised by God has come at last!" he announced. "The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!"



The Kingdom has a King

Jesus is the King..  

  1. How is God’s relationship with His creation described?
  2. What is God’s authority over His creation?
  3. At the time you prayed, were you willing to submit to Jesus as your King?


The Kingdom of God is near!


If you were just looking to get a right relationship with God and hence some sort of ticket to heaven, or maybe even to persuade God to do something for you, while not being prepared to submit to Him as your King, then it is unlikely that He accepted the commitment.


Repentance

Jesus calls on people to repent - to turn around from living for yourself and determine to live for God.

  1. What does Jesus ask?
  2. What are the things you do that God would consider sins?
  3. What does it mean for you to repent?
  4. Are there any activities, relationships, objects that must go from your life in order to demonstrate that you are serious in this decision?


 Repent of your sins



Believe

Jesus calls on people to believe. This belief is an attitude of trust demonstrated in life.

  1. What does Jesus ask?
  2. What does Jesus ask us to believe in?
  3. Do you believe in Jesus and His message?
  4. Are you willing to live out everything Jesus asks of us?


believe the Good News!


Without this faith in God, it is unlikely that He would have accepted your commitment.


Two Way Agreement

Becoming a Christian is a two way agreement.  It requires us to submit to Jesus the King, to Repent and to Believe.  When we do Jesus sends His Spirit into our lives.

  1. What promise does Jesus make here?
  2. What is your part?
  3. What does Jesus promise to do?
  4. Are you convinced that previously you ‘opened the door’?
  5. Are you willing to do so now?


Revelation 3:20  "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.



Example

An example of someone becoming a Christian is found in Luke 23:40-43. Here, Jesus is being crucified along with two criminals. A first criminal has just insulted Jesus.

  1. Where in the text does the criminal acknowledge Jesus as king?
  2. Where in the text does he repent?
  3. Where in the text does he believe or put his trust in Jesus?
  4. How did Jesus respond to the criminal?


Luke 23: 40 But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die?41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn't done anything wrong."42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."   43 And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise."



The Distraction of Feelings

For many becoming a Christian is an emotional roller coaster ride.  Others assume that for them it did not work because they have had no such emotions.  This was the case for me and it was only when some friends helped me go through the commitment again that I had a settled sense of assurance.


Fundamentally, God’s work is through faith. Feelings are no requirement.  The indication is that God  works in your life - (What difference does God make.).  If you give yourself to living God’s way, seeking Him in prayer and reading the Bible, then change should begin. We can be our own worst enemies, not seeing changes that are evident to others. Make sure you are around others and ask them their opinion.


Suggestion

At this point if you have seen the conditions for receiving Jesus and think that maybe your commitment was in some way flawed, then I would suggest that you return to the place of commitment.  Try going through the Bridge illustration and start again.

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Essential of faith.


TRIED AND FAILED